We had the good fortune of connecting with Nikki Kay and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nikki, we’d love to start by asking you about lessons learned. Is there a lesson you can share with us?
Great question! Yes there sure is a lesson I can share.
Having worked in the corporate arena for over 20 years I’ve learnt so much that I apply to my business today. One of the most important lessons is that business ethics and professional standards really do matter! Everything I do today draws on those professional standards, for example: Say what you mean, mean what you say, and be sure to act on every commitment you make. Every single client of mine deserves to feel special, because they are special, so I always go the extra mile to let them know that they are adored.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Elite Teepees creates exquisite sleepover experiences. We provide absolutely everything you could possibly need for a sleepover, including handcrafted themed teepees, proper full length mattresses, luxurious European bedding, decorative pillows, bed trays and fur rugs. Then we add decorative accessories, twinkling lights, party favors, and a large sprinkling of magic. All guests need to provide is their overnight bag and a sense of adventure.
I really wanted to create a luxury boutique hotel vibe, which is why the teepees and the majority of soft furnishings are all hand crafted (by my husband and I.) Sleepover Guests, who are typically in the 6 – 16 age range LOVE the experience. And busy SuperMoms ADORE us – primarily because there is very little for them to do. We set up the sleepover on the day of the party, then return the next day to clear everything away.
Of course, there have been lots of challenges along the way – especially the Global Pandemic which hit after we had been in business for 1 year. Being sufficiently agile enough to apply a creative solution saved my business. I offered DIY sleepovers whereby we delivered the stock together with instructions to set up and pack up – creating a ‘no contact’ service.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Whoa – there are so many things to do is this stunning city, And the weather is perfect almost all the time. First, I’d do some research to see if there were any events coming up, then plan around those. Then my itinerary would absolutely have to include the following:
Beaches – everywhere my husband surfs in Carlsbad, Encinitas and Cardiff.
1) Down Town San Diego, including Balboa Park, plus the USS Midway at the Waterfront is a fabulous place to interact with ex-serviceman and woman who served aboard the Midway.
2) La Jolla for its sheer beauty. A walk along the shoreline to see the seals and sea lions is a must, as is dining at one of the fantastic rooftop restaurants such as Catania – authentic Italian food and the best cocktails (not to mention great people watching!)
3) Old Town to explore the eclectic mixture of shops, museums, and experience historic Mexican culture. Grab a bite to eat at the liveliest authentic Mexican restaurant.
4) Drive over the impressive bridge to Coronado – visit Centennial Park, Hotel del Coronado and Coronado Beach.
5) Point Loma including the incredible Sunset Cliffs Natural Park and the Old Point Loma Lighthouse.
6) + 7) chill out days – spent exploring our local town centers in Carlsbad, Leucadia and Encinitas, including the Self-Realization Fellowship in Encinitas which has its own magical atmosphere. Maybe grab a coffee at Pannikin or at my favorite cafe The French Delights in Carlsbad. There are so many great restaurants around, but you can’t go wrong with the food at Fish 101 or at the delicious Italian Vigiluccis.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
There are so many, I’m not sure I can limit my response to a single person or group. There are three, who most certainly deserve a shout out:
Firstly, my husband who was been both supportive and instrumental to my personal journey.
Secondly, Weosh – a boutique marketing agency in LA who simply ‘get me and what I want to achieve.’ They designed my beautiful brand and website.
Finally, the Carlsbad Chamber of Commerce who do so much for the local community here in Carlsbad and enabled me to build a strong network of likeminded entrepreneurs.